Transformers The Movie

Sunday, July 08, 2007

alternate title: Mighty Morphing Power Robots From Outerspace (And Mars)

Okay. So this article is a bit late. I was on vacation. Deal with it. Actually, I was prepared to not watch the whole thing on cinema anymore but then again, having to live my life with every other person I talk to opens or end conversations with "have you seen Transformers?" and not have a clue what to say other than "Yeah, cool" doesn't sound very appealing on a conversational point of view.

So there I was, in the Cinema. My actions for the duration of the movie can be summarised into two bullet points:

- Screaming "HOLY SHIT! That was AWESOME"
- Waiting for more moments to scream "HOLY SHIT! That was AWESOME!"

The sensation was inexplicable, at least, for the duration of the movie. Only after watching did I realize what gave me that effect (along with nausea I last experienced after watching SpyKids 3d, regrettably, in the big screen - but that's for anther tale.)

Two things made this flick three times cooler than it is:

- Very very loud sound effects. (see: Saving Private Ryan soundfx)
- Cameramen who shoot like they're in continous orgasm (see: Saving Private Ryan cinematography).

I can only name a handful of scenes when the robots were shown moving and the camera was still. Sure it added some element of connection to the audience but when viewers are spending half the time wondering which part of robot they're seeing it's possible you're doing it TOO MUCH.

And maybe I'm just exaggerating, but sound from the theater beside ours was seeping into the soundproof chamber because of the volumes they had to use for the movie. But then again, it's an action flick so yeah, it's okay.

In all fairness, the movie is groundbreaking in a sense that a lot of newer military artifacts were shown on film for the first time. The IED-proof Personnel Carrier, F22 Raptors, the recon robot Predator - all these were shown on screen for the first time (with a bit of altering of course). But that's just for the military fanboy in me talking.

Storywise, it was pretty straightforward, like the 80s cartoons. Good vs evil, good triumphs, fin. Several sidestories were added to keep things from drowning in overtestosterone (see: The 300 plot) and yeah, they were good distractions.

Now, on to the robots. Here's the short version of what's the follow: Where are the original Transformers?

Sure, I understand that you have to make things slightly more realistic than a 20-ton robot transforming into a handgun but other than details like that, I don't see why they had to change everything beyond the point of recognition (add extra vibrating camera and you get what I mean)

Case in point: Optimus Prime. He's already a trailer with a very different look when transformed, WHY CHANGE THE PAINTJOB? Is it because the red and blue is not "extreme" enough so you have to add sticker flames? Here's an idea. Next time we make a movie about George Washington, lets make him black and give him semiautomatics so he's more "badass".

Bottomline: If you're making a movie about an 80s cartoon and you cant be bothered with details like making the movie appear anything near the cartoon: You're missing the point.

Okay okay, so some parts actually look like the cartoon. Shia Lebeuf (spelling I've given up on) actually looks like Bumblebee's human friend.

Overall, the movie, as I have screamed out so many times during the showing, is awesome. You still cant beat that formulaic level of special effects mixed with nostalgia. I enjoyed the movie, but maybe less as an incarnation of the old Transformers but more of a new movie franchise loosely based on the old ones. Franchise, because everybody knows until Optimuz Prime starts having children, Michael Bay will continue churning sequels (see: Pirates of The Carribean, Shrek, Little Mermaid, Zorro, Lion King)

As a closing note, I just want to say one thing:


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